For fans of Holly Black and Nova Ren Suma, a gripping, hauntingly atmospheric novel about murder, revenge, and a world where monsters—human and otherwise—lurk at the fringes.
When seventeen-year-old Breezy Lin wakes up in a shallow grave one year after her death, she doesn’t remember who killed her or why. All she knows is that she’s somehow conscious—and not only that, she’s able to sense who around her is hiding a murderous past. In life, Breezy was always drawn to the elegance of the universe and the mystery of the stars. Now she must set out to find answers and discover what is to become of her in the gritty, dangerous world to which she now belongs—where killers hide in plain sight and a sinister cult is hunting for strange creatures like her. What she finds is at once empowering, redemptive, and dangerous.
Tense, complex, and wholly engaging, Shallow Graves is a stunning first novel from Kali Wallace.
I was not sure what to expect from Shallow Graves since the description was kind of vague, but it actually turned out to be pleasantly dark and different. I thought this was about a girl who comes back from the dead and kills killers. That wasn’t the case at all. While that was a bit of disappointment, I actually liked how it was about Breezy and what kind of person she should be now that she was undead. That’s where things turned a bit odd in the book, but in a good way for me.
Breezy can sense when a killer is around. When she knows they have ill intentions toward her, she kills them with her touch. Once she takes their souls, she can see all the murders that those people have done. She doesn’t know how or why she has that power after waking up, she just goes with the flow. Breezy thinks she is the only monster on earth until she stumbles into a trap by a cult. This cult kills all monsters because they are inhuman people that should not live. They are abominations. That’s where Breezy finds out there are other monsters out there, ghouls, witches, banshees, etc. Only thing is, Breezy is not a regular monster either. No one has met a person where they came back from the dead.
I liked how Breezy is set on an unknown conquest into something she never knew existed. With that she finds out revelations about herself and the world around her. She wasn’t your ordinary main character but I actually liked that. I liked how she didn’t let other people decide her future. While others were trying to define her, she went against them to prove that she could do her own thing. I also liked how Breezy started to open up and trust in the end. Not everyone had ulterior motives, and she was able to make a friend in Zeke and Jake.
The world that the author created was very creepy. It was modern day, but behind the scenes where humans don’t know there’s monsters, I definitely got the chills. The way the author described some of the scenes had goose bumps crawling up my arms. I would definitely not want to be in any of those places alone, or with anyone for that matter. Some of those scenes really pulled me in, captivating me to finish the story because her words were so enthralling at times.
While the story kept me intrigued through out, I felt the ending left me a bit underwhelmed. Some of the things that were told through out the book were left unanswered. There were holes left in the story, which then left me frustrated because I wanted some of my questions answered. For instance, the author left a major thing about Breezy being undead. Who or what was powerful enough to create a person to come back from the dead? Also, why? Did this person want Breezy to do their bidding and kill certain people? Why did they never show up in the book? Another question I have is are there other cults like Mr. Willow’s who kill monsters? There has to be other people that were after them.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book surprisingly. It was dark, creepy, with lots of creepy crawly monsters that go bump in the night. I think had some of my questions been answered I would have ended up loving this book. I really hope there is a sequel to the story because I would love to go back into this world, and two, I want to know more about Breezy’s journey to finding out more about herself. I highly recommend this to those that like reading paranormal stories. It will not disappoint!